New York Rangers even series with physical Game 4 win over Carolina

New York Rangers
New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) celebrates his goal with center Ryan Strome (16), left wing Artemi Panarin (10) and defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) during the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes in game four of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden.
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

They’re back in a New York groove and headed to Carolina with the series tied at two. 

The New York Rangers bested the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 in Game 4 on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. It marked the first time through the first four games that a team has won by more than two goals as the physicality was ratcheted up as tension from the previous game carried over to the series’ second meeting in New York City. 

A pair of goals in the first period, a goal in the second and one in the third helped the Rangers top the Hurricanes as Igor Shesterkin made 30 saves. It was the second consecutive game that the Russian netminder allowed just one goal. 

“I thought it was great,” Adam Fox said about the team effort on Tuesday. “Especially that first period. We came out and were moving around the offensive zone and making plays. Getting a lot of chances and I thought we did a good job with the lead too. Obviously, when they’re down three goals they’re going to push a little and get some chances, but I thought we didn’t sit back as much later on and kind of created for ourselves as well. 

“It’s definitely a full team effort and a big one too.” 

The win tied a franchise record as the team captured its fifth consecutive home playoff victory. The Rangers continued to display their never quit attitude as they evened the series after trailing 0-2 following the first two games. Entering Tuesday’s game, the Rangers had won nine previous Game 3 and Game 4s to tie a best-of-seven series 

“It’s obviously huge to get the series back to even, but even the first two games in Carolina we played good hockey,” Ryan Lindgren said. “We’ve been a confident group all year and we played the hockey we wanted to play in Carolina, even though we didn’t get the score we wanted. I think that just speaks to our team.

“We were down, but never out and we come back here and feed off our crowd and get two big wins.”

The Rangers took the lead midway through the first period when Frank Vatrano capitalized on the Blueshirts’ second power play of the game. Andrew Copp sent a cross-ice pass to Vatrano who buried the puck past Raanta to put New York up 1-0. 

The goal was just their second on the man-advantage this series with Carolina and came 13:31 into the opening period. 

New York Rangers
New York Rangers center Frank Vatrano (77) celebrates his goal against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Antti Raanta (32) during the first period in game four of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden.Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

New York made it a two-goal lead later in the period when Fox tipped a shot from out deep by Ryan Lindgren at the 15:52 mark of the first. They added to their lead in the second when another Lindgren shot led to another Rangers goal. 

Lindgren shot the puck from the top of the slot, which trickled through Raana before Mika Zibanejad swiped the sitting puck over the goal line. 

Tuesday’s game lived up to the anticipated hype that the series had taken on after the ending of Game 3. New York and Carolina played a physical game, which peaked during the first period when Jacob Trouba leveled  Max Domi with a monster hit along the boards. 

Trouba seemed to catch Domi’s head with his elbow as he was falling, which prompted Steven Lorentz to jump in to defend his teammate. The bout between the Rangers defenseman and Lorentz was short as Trouba pummeled the Hurricanes’ forward. 

The play resulted in the Ranger power play that led to the opening goal. 

“We’re not out there trying to catch guys at all,” Copp said of the Trouba hit. “And we’re not trying to play stupid or anything like that. We’re just trying to finish our checks and play physical when we can and make smart decisions. At the end of the day, them taking the two-minute instigator changed the course of the game. 

“We score on the power play and now it’s 1-0, and scoring first has been huge in this series. That’s the kind of difference, it’s not now they’re intimidated or anything like that.” 

The officials had to separate Ryan Reaves and Tony DeAngelo — two notable agitators — later in the first period as well on Tuesday. In a similar fashion, Tuesday night ended with the two teams entangled in a scrum at the final buzzer. 

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Domi and DeAngelo have become villains in New York after Game 3 after the former took a swipe at Lindgren at the end of Game 3, causing a scrum to break out after the final buzzer. DeAngelo was also seen chirping at Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant on Sunday as he was exiting the game. 

The Rangers didn’t take too kindly to it all and seemed to indicate that they’d remember what transpired. Domi and DeAngelo were both heckled by the 18,006 that were on hand at the Garden on Tuesday night.